The Chicago Tribune names Francesco Milioto “one of the best young conductors working in the Chicago area.” Since his debut in the Chicago area just over a decade ago he now balances a busy career conducting a wide range of orchestral and operatic repertoire while maintaining a full schedule as a pianist and vocal coach.
He currently holds the positions of Co-founder/Conductor of the New Millennium Orchestra, Music Director of the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Chicago Cultural Center Summer Opera, Principal Conductor of the Highland Park Strings and Artistic Director/Conductor of Access Contemporary Music.
Mr. Milioto is an assistant conductor/rehearsal pianist/prompter for the Ravinia Festival, where he works closely with Maestro James Conlon. During both the 2009 and 2010 Chicago Opera Theater seasons he served as an assistant conductor/rehearsal pianist, and also chorus master. Mr. Milioto makes regular appearances as a guest conductor with Opera Elgin and Opera on the James in Lynchburg, VA. As Artistic Director and Conductor of Access Contemporary Music, Mr. Milioto is in command of the brilliantly vibrant ensemble Palomar, which has been featured on the radio and in performances through the city and abroad. Especially exciting are ACM’s Composer ALIVE project and the Sound of Silent Film performances.
Mr. Milioto is very proud of the work ACM does in nurturing new composers, and performing many new works each season by living composers through Chicago. Mr. Milioto is particularly proud of his work with the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago, which he helped to co-found in 2005. The NMO has an incredible range of repertoire, playing everything from classical music and opera to collaborations with jazz and hip-hop artists. In addition to regular appearances at the Chicago Cultural Center, performing programs of orchestral, opera and chamber music; this young dynamic group has successfully debuted on both the Ravinia Festival Kraft Kid’s Series and the Harris Theater Family Series with innovative programs like D.J Beethoven and Hip Hopera, both created by Mr. Milioto.
In addition to its regular activities the NMO has debuted two different concert series this season at the Cliff Dweller Club and at Architectural Artifacts. The NMO also maintains a residency at Columbia College where Mr. Milioto leads concerts featuring music by students in the Music for the Screen program. Now in his fourth season as Music Director of the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra Mr. Milioto will lead programs featuring Act III of Puccini’s La Boheme, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Young Artist Competition winner Kate Liu, an all Beethoven program highlighted by Symphonies No. 3 and No. 8, and a final concert featuring Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 the Pathétique.
During his tenure Mr. Milioto has enjoyed an enthusiastic response to his unique musicianship and wide range of repertoire. In addition to building on the history of high quality performances, the past seasons have seen a successful return to concert opera, and the creation of free concerts for local school children. His work with the Highland Park Strings ranges from the earliest string music to the romantic and contemporary.
As Principal Conductor, Mr. Milioto has had the pleasure to work with many international soloists including Janos Starker, David Shifrin, Inna Faliks, Angela Cheng, Rachel Barton-Pine and Chicago Symphony Orchestra members Mathieu Dufour and Eugene Izotov. Mr. Milioto is looking forward to concerts featuring CSO concert master Robert Chen in Beethoven’s Violin concerto, Beethoven Symphony No. 7, Liszt’s Les Preludes and Piano Concerto No. 1, as well as Brahms Symphony No. 4. As an opera conductor, Mr. Milioto has led nine productions to critical acclaim at the Chicago Cultural Center, which include Le Nozze di Figaro, Candide, Dido and Aeneas, The Magic Flute, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges.
He led the Cultural Center’s most recent production of Acis and Galatea from the harpsichord which had its final performance at the prestigious Pritzker Pavillion in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Mr. Milioto has conducted five productions in Virginia with Opera on the James, and led several gala concerts and productions with Opera Elgin in collaboration with the New Millennium Orchestra. As an assistant conductor and rehearsal pianist at the Ravinia Festival he has been involved in seven operas and various other orchestral and vocal projects working alongside Daniel Barenboim (2004) and James Conlon (2005-present).
In addition to working along side great conductors at Ravinia, Mr. Milioto has also had the opportunity to work with world-class artists such as Placido Domingo, Kiri te Kanawa, Samuel Ramey, Lynn Harrell, James Galway, Patricia Racette, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ana Maria Martinez, and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo. Mr. Milioto also worked at Chicago Opera Theater as an assistant conductor/rehearsal pianist for both Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers (featuring Frederica von Stade), and Peter Brook’s version of Bizet’s Carmen, before returning to work as an assistant conductor and chorus master for Rossini’s Mosé in Egitto.